Today I was in Ocala, FL where I joined Art Of The Chopper books author and museum curator Tom Zimberoff and my friend custom builder Vince Doll from Redneck Engineering, for a press conference to debut the new AOTC Exhibition featuring 30 top of the line custom motorcycles and Tom’s black & white builders’ photography. The new Art Of The Chopper exhibition is opened to the public from tomorrow October 10th to January 10th, 2010 at the Appleton Museum Of Art in Ocala. Before Vince & myself addressed the medias about our custom building philosophy and style, AOTC “Chief Chopperating Officer” Tom Zimberoff defined for the participants the “Art Of The Chopper”.
Below are the highlights of his speech.
“This new Art Of The Chopper Exhibition takes a stab at defining custom motorcycles as “art bikes” and by referring to them, generally speaking, as choppers. But what, more specifically is a chopper? A conceptualized handmade motorcycle – A convolution of form and function – A balance of flamboyance and minimalism on two wheels – A vehicle of self-expression – Getting something wrong just right™.
More than high-performance motorcycles with extraordinary visual appeal, choppers are also instruments of performance art. The chopper ethos demands that they be ridden. And it takes an exhibitionist to pull it off; someone armed and hammered by his own hauteur — or the swank of haut moteur. Haut moteur is to motorcycles as haute couture is to apparel.
Just as a couturier’s gown goes from runway to rack each new season, the archetype of a fashion trend, over-the-top motorcycles initiate a process of trickle-down style, which eventually finds its way to the showroom floor.
As an exhibition, Art of the Chopper represents the moteuriers themselves. These builders are the rock ’n’ roll stars of the motorcycle industry. Their choppers are hit songs. This collection of their work represents the first comprehensive collection of motorcycles created explicitly as contemporary art.
Photographs at the Appleton Museum of Art , juxtaposed with the choppers on display, allow visitors to peer into a parallel universe populated by the high priests of horsepower, lane-splitting libertarians on the road to perdition with a lust for life and a consummate sense of style”. Tom Zimberoff
The Appleton Museum is located, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala, FL 34470. Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm. Tickets for sale online or at the museum (from left to right, Vince Doll, Tom Zimberoff, Cyril Huze)